The Hays Daily News from Hays, Kansas on June 18, 2006 · Page 4
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The Hays Daily News from Hays, Kansas · Page 4

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Sunday, June 18, 2006
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A4 THE HAYS DAILY NEWS OPINION SUNDAY, JUNE 18,2006 Editorial Incubate Why do men have nipplesi Entrepreneur center could become reality now that city, county have warmed to idea A missing ingredient soon may come off the shelf and be added to the local economic development recipe. The missing component is a business incubator. And the concept got a big boost when Hays city and Ellis County commissioners suddenly forged broad support at a joint meeting earlier this month. Just what is a business incubator? It depends on the application, but generally it is an office space where new businesses go through incubation, where they are nourished with management advice and support services until they can succeed on their own. By sharing resources, new businesses can keep overhead down as they get started. Business start-ups typically pay some rent in a shared office environment but save on utilities and theoretically can share a receptionist and office equipment such as a phone system, fax and copier. It has been an ongoing idea to put such a business incubator in place in Hays, but it has been put on the back burner more than once. The city and county pledges, which are verbal and informal at this point, have warmed up the project. Both city and county commissioner tentatively have pledged $50,000 each. Mike Michaelis, director of the Ellis County Coalition for Economic Development, said that should be sufficient to move the idea forward. Decisions need to be made, he said, about whether the incubator would be specialized — for technology-related business, for example — or general in mission, what services would be offered to the businesses and how long they could stay in the incubator. "There's a lot of questions to answer," Michaelis said last week. Where to put it is another. Owners of the Hadley Center — formerly Hadley Hospital — have made overtures to locate a business incubator there. That would be a good location. First, the city and county commissions should work this into their budgets. And they need to consider long-term financing. At some point a business incubator could be self-sufficient, but it will need more than one year of outside financing to give it time to get established. Traditionally we think about economic development in terms of industry recruitment — luring big manufacturing plants to town. That is a competitive game, however. Increasingly, a grow- your-own approach makes sense, especially in western Kansas. Entrepreneurship is a popular buzzword in Kansas economic development, and that is what a business incubator is all about. And, as Michaelis points out, you never know what little business idea will develop into the next Microsoft or Google. Some will fail, but some might turn into significant employers. The support of city and county commissions is to be lauded. And all parties are encouraged to put the finishing touches on this recipe and put it in the oven. Editorial by John D. Montgomery, son of John G. Montgomery jmont@dallynews.net The editorials represent the opinion and institutional voice of The Hays Daily News but are signed by the author for the reader's information. Guest editorials are from other newspapers and do not necessarily represent the views of The Hays Daily News. Other content on this page represents the views of the signed columnist, cartoonist or letter-writer. The Opinion Page is intended to be a community forum. Guest editorials and syndicated columnists are selected to present a variety of opinion. Online Opinion Poll This week's question: How should public schools teach sex educa- Last week's question: / Abstinence only until marriage. / Abstinence along with birth control and preventing sexually transmitted diseases. / No sex education in the schools at all. / No opinion. To vote, go to www.hdnews.net. Do you believe the death of Abu Musab al- ;; , .Zatqawi will weaken al-Qaida's efforts in the warv in Iraq? /Yes —67 votes (41.4%) / No — 89 votes (54.9%) / al-Zarqawi who? — Svotes (3.1%) / No opinion — 1 votes (0.6%) (Please cast vote by 2 p.m. Friday.) Header Forum Past, present reveal a wish for sanitary war Having been involved directly in one war, and having looked at several others closely, I am convinced we can't avoid the occurrence of atrocities in any and every war. Mr. Montgomery's editorial stating his reasoning for getting out of Iraq now derives directly from the lack of justification for getting into it in the first place — nothing, more or less. If the occurrence of atrocities in and of themselves defined whether a war is/was justified or not, we would find ourselves hard pressed to see , any war in which we have been involved as just, including the best of our wars up to the present, World War II. Trained soldiers find themselves in unwieldy predicaments in battle zones. It's their job in part to keep themselves under control during the duress of the threat to their well-being, and at the same time to engage the enemy. Even more so this is the duty of the officers in charge. That this control breaks down occasionally should come as no surprise. It isn't that service men and women are all too human; it's that they are trained and conditioned primarily to kill the enemy first of all. If this were not so, they would be ineffectual. Diplomatic training, if and when it occurs at all, must take second place to be above. Few young men and women are capable of internalizing the lessons learned for combat combined with the desirability of remaining humane. That any manage this at all should come as a surprise, not the opposite. Before we get into wars we need to understand fully and accept all the unavoidable and undesirable consequences of war. (I think this is better understood by our military chiefs than by our civilian leaders.) This should make us, as a nation of peace-loving people, ever reluctant to start a war ourselves, for which there is seldom an excuse. We should even be cautious about entering war when there is a provocation, weighing these and other consequences in the balance before going to war. A threat to our nation's well-being should be taken seriously, but it also should be validated before war ensues. That wasn't done properly before we started the second Iraq war. As a result, many of our troops by now know that this war was entered with less than full justification. This is resulting in some of our combat soldiers losing faith in their mission. A questionable military mission, meaning an ultimately unsuccessful one, increases the number of atrocities that will occur. Frustration and loss of focus brings this on. As the mission becomes muddled, the control necessary for completion gets lost through lack of morale. The outcome becomes less assured. So, we can identify and punish those service men and women who commit atrocities, but with these same pressures on our troops experienced day after day, other atrocities will become unavoidable. It's the nature of war to include and accept these outcomes, while at the same time trying to avoid them. GaryJ. Whitesell 213 West 21st My Uncle Harry Stone was a great story teller. One of his favorites was the one where a persnickety farmer went to buy a new tractor, the biggest and best he could find. The farmer had looked at a half-dozen tractors, sized them up and shook his head sidewise. The salesman arrived, smelling a too-rare commission. "Watcha looking for?" "Biggest, best damned tractor you got. One that'll pull whatever I hook up to." "Got just the one, right there." The salesman pointed at a huge diesel, three times bigger than anything else on the lot. They walked to it, the salesman rattling a mile a minute about what the tractor would do. "It'll pull anything I hitch to? Guaranteed, money back?" "Yessir. It'll pull whatever you hitch to. And if by any rare stretch of possibility or circumstance, just in case it don't... see that little lever? Just in case, pull that out." The farmer was disgusted. "I don't want no extra levers. I want power. Will this tractor pull everything or not?" "Yessir, it will... but if it ever don't... just in case, you can pull the little lever." "You need the lever, right?" The farmer began walking away. "No, you really don't," the salesman said. "This tractor will pull any implement you own or will own. But just in case..." "Just in case? What the rippin' snort good is it?" He had one foot in his pickup, ready to leave. Whereupon the salesman quickly unbuttoned his shirt, lifted up his undershirt, and poked at his exposed nipple. "See that," he said? "Now we shorely know I ain't going to have no baby. But Hooper LOCAL VOICES this thingy's there ... just in case I do." The farmer bought the tractor. So why do men have nipples? The apparent uselessness of male mammary glands surely gave rise to the expression that something is as "worthless as boobs on a boar" — to put it in slightly less colorful language. But it is a worthy question. Permit me to digress momentarily. I am something of a pack rat. I live, as it were, serendipitously — happening on this or that curious book or story (or whatever) and am always amazed how wonderfully rewarding that can be. In this case, somewhere I had picked up a copy of Science Digest in January 1982 and had forgotten to discard it. Such pack ratishness is not good for marital relations, so last week I was trying to make amends by throwing some stuff away. I had recently been musing the fundamentalist religious snit that led George W. Bush to propose a Constitutional amendment aimed at preventing gay and lesbian couples from entering into serious contractural relationships. Support for such legislation comes mainly from those who view homosexuality as a deliberate choice, a threat to marriage and a damning sin. As I thumbed through the old magazine, my eyes fell upon a section titled "Everyday Science" wherein was a four-paragraph essay titled "Why do men have nipples?" At conception we all began with "hemaproditic potential." For at least eight weeks the fetus can go either way, male or female. Nipples are "modified sweat glands" that "begin to differentiate at puberty" when a "complex flood of hormonal signals" enlarge female breasts (and sometimes adolescent male breasts as well.) Adult males can be made to secrete milk by stopping the production of testosterone, a male hormone — which, my doctor friends tell me, sometimes happens when men with prostate cancer undergo some types of treatment. So I got to thinking. Maybe God made me buy that Science Digest and keep it all these years so I could write this column. (In fact I'm saving it just in case there's something else in it I'll find sometime. That's the argument I'm going to try to sell Better Half, the amazing woman to whom yours truly pack rat has been married for 48 plus years.) I know it's the big head in me, but I was hoping that maybe a few readers would pass this column along to absolutely-sure-about-everything fundamentalists and macho homophobes- maybe even to President Bush. Maybe they'd all go into the John, study their nipples in the mirror and wonder ... maybe if they had got more hormones or less at critical stages ... maybe gender identity is more complex than they'd thought. Maybe they'd be less cocksure they knew all there was to know about nipples and such. Bob Hooper, son of the late Lewis L. Hooper, is a fourth-generation western Kansan who writes from his home in Bogue. celtlc@ruraltel.net PRICELESS WORKS OF ART Umbrellas not just for sun shade I finally had a chance to dig out my umbrella and use it. Umbrella? Ever heard of it? It's a nifty little gadget that covers your head when it is raining outside. It folds up when you're not using it, which is most of the time when you live in western Kansas. But Seattle is another story. So I was Seattle-bound for business earlier this month, and what was the one item I forgot to pack? My umbrella, of course. Oh well, I probably couldn't have found it anyway. Good thing the hotel leaves an umbrella in every room for dummies like me who arrive in Seattle without. Everyone knows it rains a lot in Seattle. And it rained at least part of the day every one of the three days I was in the city. But it doesn't rain as much as one would think. I kept asking the locals what they get for annual rainfall. I figured it was 60 or 80 inches a year. Turns out it is only about 36 inches a year. That is more than Hays gets — around 20 inches — but less than many places. Kansas City averages 37 inches a year. The difference is that in Seattle the rain comes down as a slow drizzle most of the time, the city socked in by low cloud cover. The resulting "monochromatic views" are "mysterious, if that's your cup of latte, depressing if it's not," explains one Seattle Web site. I enjoyed the waterfront hotel, but, true to form, most of the time socked-in Puget Sound did not reveal terribly stunning views. Consequently, I skipped a ride up to the top of the Space Needle, figuring I would not see much. That is not to say I did not enjoy my first visit to Seattle. It is a charming A community is best served when residents are willing to discuss issues publicly. You can be part of the discussion by participating in the Reader Forum. Please limit your submissions to 600 words. They will be edited for length and clarity. They must be signed and in- John Montgomery COMMENTARY city with plenty to do. With but one afternoon for leisure time, about all I managed was to explore the waterfront. That tour included the huge Pike Place Market, known for its fish stands, where guys in rubber overalls — guys who look like they just got off their boats — hurl huge salmon from the ice to other burly guys behind the counters. 1 concluded the fish-throwing serves no real purpose other than to entertain the tourists. The market is filled with street vendors selling amazing produce and all kinds of colorful flowers, other foodstuffs and jewelry. Street performers add to the ambiance. The seafood is wonderful in Seattle, the salmon being outstanding. Blending environmental and cosmopolitan influences, I'm sure that Seattle would be a fun place to live. But it must get depressing, too. For 226 days of the year — 62 percent — Seattle has some cloud cover. And what I did not consider when visiting in June is the reduced daylight through the winter. A former northwesterner tells me that daylight runs from about 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. during the winter months. That is something that I like about Kansas — especially western Kansas. Our winters are cold, but the sun shines. Did you know that Kansas is said to Reader Forum policy elude a name, address and daytime telephone number for verification. We reserve the right not to print a submission. We do not accept for publication on the editorial page poems, consumer complaints, business testimonials or be one of the top 10 "sunniest" states in the country? We average 225 sunny days a year? I suppose that count, however, depends how you classify partly-cloudy days. Anyway, the psychologists and therapists must do well in Seattle in the winters. • • • Once a year, Hays Daily News Managing Editor Mike Corn and Photo Editor Steve Hausler do a big drought story. Maybe it is only every couple years, and it just seems like more often. About the only weather prediction I dare make is that Corn and Hausler's big drought story will be followed within the week by a big rain event. They are the rain dancers of, well, of our newspaper, anyway. So it was with the latest drought story, headlined "Desperate times" in the June 4 edition. I sometimes wonder when drought should make news in our region, where drought seems to come and go — mostly come — with relative frequency. But it has been a dry year, to be sure. Though some rain developed after Corn and Hausler's latest effort, it was not substantial — and not enough to help a short, thin wheat crop. In another time, when I lived in another place, rain was much more an annoyance than a blessing. Now I cherish the days — or nights, more often, it seems — when we get a good rain. I would even dig out my umbrella if I had to. John D. Montgomery Is editor and publisher of The Hays Dally News and son of John G. Montgomery. Imont9d9llyn9wf.net group letters. Mail them to Reader Forum, The Hays Daily News, 507 Main, Hays KS 67601 .You also can send them by e-mail at read0rforum@dallyn9w«.n9t Please Include an address and daytime telephone number.

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